PESHAWAR, Oct. 12 - Provincial President Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Anwar Saifullah Khan Friday said that the party is playing a leading role in eradication of polio from the country.It would continue to render services in this regard till the last child was protected against the crippling disease.
He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of three days anti-polio drive organized by Department of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in collaboration with UNICEF here at Peshawar Press Club on Friday.
Senior Vice President PPP for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azam Afridi, Director Health Services KP Dr Roohullah, Deputy Director EPI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Jan Baz Afridi, Health & Nutrition Specialist UNICEF, Dr Abdul Jameel, Provincial Team Leader WHO, Dr Ubaid-Ul-Islam, President Peshawar Press Club Saiful Islam Saifi, President Khyber Union of Journalists, Arshad Aziz Malik were present.
Expressing grave concern over growing number of polio cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA compared to other parts of the country, Anwar Saifullah Khan said that a number of reasons including mobility of population inside the country and the neighbouring country of Afghanistan were the major causes of this fact.
He said that children continue to suffer due to misleading propaganda by certain quarters against the vaccination and lack of knowledge in the general public about the disease.
Anwar Saifullah urged upon Ulema, political workers and people to come forward and play active role in eradicating polio from the country.
“Ulema should preach the people to vaccinate their children against polio during Friday sermons”, he added.
Anwar Saifullah said that Pakistanis love to defeat India in everything but unfortunately in case of polio India has taken a lead on us and obtained the status of polio free country in 2011.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Director Expended Program on Immunization Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Jan Baz Afridi said that the October round of anti-polio campaign would be conducted across the province and FATA from October 15 to 17.
A total of 15840 teams have been constituted to vaccinate a target population of 52,21132 in the province including Afghan Refugees.The teams include 13,356 mobile, 1616 fixed teams and 868 transit.
He said that a total of 43 polio cases have been reported from the country out of which 17 are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 15 in FATA, 4 in Sindh, 3 each in Punjab and Balochistan and one in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Health &Nutrition Specialist UNICEF, Dr Jamil said that Pakistan was signatory to Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC) and access of children to healthy life was one of the major component of the treaty.
He said that renewed commitment was needed to eradicate polio from the country.
Team Leader WHO, Dr Ubaid assured all out support to the government on behalf of the partners till the last child was safeguarded against the crippling disease.
Later, the chief guest, Director Health Services KP and DDEPI administered polio drops to the children to formally start three days anti-polio drive in the province.